What Do You Want?

“Taras, time to eat,” steam billows around Megan as she pours the pasta through the green and red cullender.

Taras, my ten-year-old son, is silent, crouching over his laptop, nose inches from the screen, gnawing on a mouthful of shoulder-length blond hair.

I look up from my desk. “Right now, little man.”

“No! I’ll die.”

I just look at him. 

With a sigh he shuts the lid. “I was at level 30. The boss uses a lightning spell and if you jump and jump, and spam the keyboard it doesn’t do any damage.”

His world is his games. We allow some game-time simply because he loves it so much. It’s also a great motivator. But it’s not real. Plus, if we gave him unlimited screen time, he’d probably starve to death, all his teeth would rot out, and he’d lose his sanity from lack of sleep.

“You’re like that”.


The voice that sounds like an idea pops into my head. I’m pretty sure it’s God because it’s smarter than me and tells me things I don’t always want to hear.

“Your prayers are about success and life and comfort, but not the real kind, the fake kind.”

No matter what I achieve or how much money I make or how popular I am, I still leave it all behind. Jesus makes my efforts sound as “not real” as beating a level 30 boss. When he refers to things that matter, he’s seldom talking about physical things, and when he refers to true riches, he’s talking about heavenly ones. And yet most of my questions are; should I buy that stock, sell that house, talk to that person, etc.

I say I want to know God’s will, but do I really want to know what he wants, or do I think knowing his will is going to make what I want successful? If my prayer is basically selfish, can I really expect him to say, “great, let me give that to you and make you even more selfish”? James says I don’t get answers when I ask with wrong motives. Jesus, David and a host of others say if I ask with the right motives, I’ll get whatever I ask.

It’s not that I shouldn’t be asking about everything. The bible tells us very specifically to pray about EVERYTHING. But what am I really asking for?

I was walking with God on the beach, complaining about all the hurts, worries, and stresses in my life. 

“What do you want?” The gentle question flooded my mind. 

“I want …” What do I want?  Do I really want him to solve my problems? Those problems are my only way to grow. What about money, comfort, and security? Will more really make me happier. For a minute. So far, money, comfort, and security hasn’t made me happier in the long run. What makes me happy – deeply happy?

What do I want? 

I want to live a life that matters. I want to be a hero. 

A smile blossomed in the corner of God’s eyes. “Being a hero isn’t  easy.”

I guess … I don’t want “easy.” I mean, I do. I just want to matter more than I want easy. 

His pleasure floated around me, wild as the dancing surf. “Me too.”

Now there’s a request that’s going to get answered – an answer with the power of heaven behind it.

Luke 16:11 NIV So if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches?

James 4:3 NKJV You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures.

John 15:7 NKJV If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.

Psalm 37:4 NKJV Delight yourself also in the Lord, And He shall give you the desires of your heart.

“Discipline is choosing between what you want now and what you want most.”
― Abraham Lincoln